Just as a bit of background, I go to the church's island school--so we're pretty isolated out here. Recently, one of my very close friends came out to me about being gay. I reassured him that sexual orientation doesn't affect our friendship whatsoever. Actually, I felt really touched that he felt safe enough to talk to me about it. He is really ashamed of being gay and very sensitive about the topic.
A few weeks past and I tried to bring up the topic again, but he wasn't letting me. So, since he had let me in on such a deep secret of his, I let him in on the fact that I don't believe in the church. He was silent for awhile, then affirmed his belief. I was hoping that he had at least some doubts, but he's definitely a TBM. So I just smiled and said that he was lucky that he was able to believe in something so firmly.
I never try to help people out of the church--I feel that if they want out, they can find their own way. I'll help along the way, but I don't advocate my disbelief. I don't feel comfortable being responsible for someone's belief in or disbelief of anything really. But I'm afraid for him. Does anyone have advice for how I can help him? Thanks in advance!
As cliché as it sounds, the only person who can truly help him is himself. He has to be open to advice and assistance, otherwise you'll be talking to a brick wall. This isn't to say that you can't (gently) offer some arguments against the church's stance on homosexuality because even if he doesn't take to it immediately, your calmly reasoning with him can plant a seed, as it were -- but don't expect him to take to it immediately. Don't be pushy about it and definitely don't try to use it as a springboard to talk him out of his religion. Instead, try to frame things from an accepting religious perspective, i.e. "Why would god make you gay and then force you to live your life lying to everyone that you're not gay? He created you as you are and he loves you, he would want you to be happy; you aren't happy living in shame and secrecy, are you?" I say this both as a queer man who was religious and as a queer man who has helped a very religious and closeted friend finally come to terms with their sexuality.
The best way to help him is to listen. He'll let you know how you can help him, whether it be just hanging out as if nothing ever happened or having further discussions about it. Take your cues from him; if he doesn't want to talk about it, he doesn't want to talk about it. Don't try to force it, that will only push him away. You can also try directing him to some positive resources, like Affirmation.
When you say that you are a member of the Churches Island school and that you are pretty isolated do you mean BYU Hawaii?? ...a lot of the people there are thinkers and dought or know that it is all a game.
DOn In Las Vegas.